'Katrina brain': The invisible long-term toll of megastorms.

Long after a big hurricane blows through, its effects hammer the mental-health system.

Bryan Tamowski for POLITICO

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Climate

Is Scott Pruitt on the campaign trail?

President Donald Trump's EPA chief is getting a lot of airtime as he travels across the country, causing some strategists to suspect he has higher political aspirations.

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Climate

How Trump is enabling famine.

Last month, eight large private U.S. relief organizations formed an unprecedented alliance to call Americans’ attention to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II: 20 million people at imminent risk of famine in four countries, including millions of children the United Nations says are “acutely malnourished.” Thinking of the popular anti-famine movements of the 1980s and ’90s, the groups enlisted support from big corporations and rock stars; the hope was to get through to the 85 percent of Americans whom polling showed were unaware of the crisis, and make a dent in the more than $2 billion deficit in funding needed to head off mass starvation.

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Michael Held
Climate

Bigger, hotter, faster.

This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book, Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame. It has been edited and condensed.

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Toxics

This technology could stop the world’s deadliest animal.

Not long ago, Bill Gates, whose family foundation has spent billions of dollars battling diseases around the globe, noted in his blog that the deadliest animals on the planet are not sharks or snakes or even humans, but mosquitoes. Technically, the bloodsuckers merely host our most dangerous creatures. Anopheles mosquitoes can incubate the protozoae responsible for malaria—a stubborn plague that inspired the DDT treatment of millions of US homes and the literal draining of American swamps during the 1940s to shrink the insects’ breeding grounds. Malaria is now rare in the United States, but it infected an estimated 212 million people around the world in 2015, killing 429,000—mostly kids under five.

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How a wildlife biologist became a plague-chaser in the American Southwest.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — When there’s a suspected outbreak of plague in this college town among the pines, the authorities know to call David Wagner. He’s a tall man, with the square-jawed looks of the sheriff in a spaghetti Western, and one of his jobs is to determine whether these flare-ups are indeed caused by the same bacteria as the Black Death. He pulls on long pants and long sleeves — preferably white, so it’s easier to spot the dark speck of a flea — and drives out to the scene.

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Food

More than 20 million people are at risk of starving to death. Will the world step up?

MORE THAN 20 million people in four countries are at risk of starvation in the coming months, in what the United Nations has called the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. But the global response to the emergency has been lacking, both from governments and from private citizens. As of Monday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was reporting that only 43 percent of the $6.27 billion needed to head off famine this year in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria had been raised. A poll by the International Rescue Committee showed that 85 percent of Americans are largely uninformed about the food shortages. The IRC calls it “likely the least reported but most important major issue of our time.”

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Dikaseva/Unsplash
Climate

The uninhabitable Earth.

I. ‘Doomsday’

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Toxics

New book says amount of mustard gas exposure in World War II may be higher than acknowledged by government.

WASHINGTON • One hundred years ago next month, on July 12, 1917, the Germans dispensed mustard gas for the first time on Belgian battlefields during World War I. Mustard was not used on the battlefields of World War II, but Allied armies, gearing for its possible use or other chemical warfare, conducted mustard gas experiments on their own soldiers during that war.

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Opinion

Stopping pandemics before they start.

Imagine that enemies possessed a class of weapons with which they attacked your people from time to time. Decades could go by with no attack, but eventually one would come. Imagine also that these weapons were growing more potent, and the attacks were becoming more frequent.

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Climate

Considering 'Mad Max' and other Hollywood dystopias after Trump's exit from Paris accord.

Since the plagues of the Old Testament, we have contemplated the Apocalypse, the world rising in vengeance as men, women and children scurry across the brutal landscape of a lost paradise. Skies rain hail, locusts swarm, rivers turn to blood, darkness falls.

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Toxics

Trump administration says it isn’t anti-science as it seeks to slash EPA science office.

The Office of Research and Development has been at frontlines of virtually every environmental crisis. Trump wants to cut its funding in half.

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Justice

What’s in Trump’s 2018 budget request for science?

President Donald Trump unveiled his full 2018 budget request to Congress today. The spending plan, for the fiscal year that begins 1 October, fleshes out the so-called skinny budget that the White House released this past March. That plan called for deep cuts to numerous research agencies. But it did not include numbers for some key research agencies, such as the National Science Foundation. ScienceInsider will be scouring today’s budget documents for fresh details. Come back to our rolling coverage for analysis and reaction.

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From our Newsroom

Hormone-mimicking chemicals harm fish now—and their unexposed offspring later

Fish exposed to harmful contaminants can pass on health issues such as reproductive problems to future generations that had no direct exposure.

America re-discovers anti-science in its midst

Fauci, Birx, Redfield & Co. are in the middle of a political food fight. They could learn a lot from environmental scientists.

Roadmap points Europe toward safer, sustainable chemicals

EU Commission releases ambitious strategy for getting hormone-disrupting chemicals out of food, products, and packaging.

Exempt from inspection: States ignore lead-contaminated meat in food banks

Hunter-donated meat provides crucial protein to US food banks. But an EHN investigation found a lack of oversight that could result in potentially hundreds of thousands of lead-contaminated meals this year.

How Europe’s wood pellet appetite worsens environmental racism in the US South

An expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities.

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